The RSC seminar

The RSC seminar "Development of the studies on bacteria by photon science" Report

On Nov. 2, 2012, on a visit to SPring-8 of 14 Ph.D. students of the Laboratory of Food Microbiology of Wageningen University in the Netherlands, we held this seminar. Following an opening address by Dr. Shiro, Dr. den Besten Heidy presented outline of the Laboratory of Food Microbiology of Wageningen University. Then, four Ph.D. students of Wageningen University and four research scientists of SPring-8 Center presented their researches. The researches of Wageningen University are those related to stress responses of bacteria, that is, how bacteria response to heat or acid treatment, and those related to biofilm which is produced by several bacteria, and is involved in resistance against acid, heat, or antibiotics treatment. They aim to biologically elucidate the reasons why bacteria cannot be completely elimminated even after heat or acid treatment, and then apply in food production facilities. From the SPring-8 side, related to those subjects, Dr. Kumasaka (JASRI) presented the structural biology of the proteins involved in bacterial stress response, and Dr. Matoba (Hiroshima Univ.) presented the structural biology of the proteins involved in an antibiotic resistance. Furthermore, Dr. Shomura (Univ. of Hyogo) presented the structural biology of a hydrogenase, which can be applicable to the fuel cell and photosynthetic H2-production. Finally, I explained an outline of the whole cell project of Thermus thermophilus HB8, especially foccusing on how we can efficiently identify the function of the functionally unharacterized (hypothetical) proteins which still exist in large numbers in a cell. If the function of them are identified, new strategies for clearance of bacteria from foods might be found, and new industrial applications of bacteria might be developed. After Prof. Kuramitsu gave a closing address, the seminar was closed. Although the aims and strategies of researches of the Wageningen University students differ from those of the SPring-8 researchers, and total number of participants were about 30, there were many questions and discussion, especially on the topic of bacterial stress response. After the seminar, the Wageningen University students looked around the SPring-8/SACLA. I believe that they rise the interests in structural biology on the visit to SPring-8. I hope that breakthrough of research is found and novel research subjects are created in the near future.

Chairs: Hasmik Hayrapetyan (Wageningen Univ.) & Akeo Shinkai (RIKEN)
9:30 ~ 9:45 Opening remarks: Yoshitsugu Shiro (Deputy Director of RIKEN SPring-8 Center)
9:45 ~ 10:00 Heidy den Besten (Wageningen Univ.)
"Overview of the Laboratory of Food Microbiology of Wageningen University"
10:00 ~ 10:20 Nitesh Kaushik (Wageningen Univ.)
"Physiological state of bacteria under stress"
10:20 ~ 10:40 Takashi Kumasaka (JASRI, RIKEN)
"Structural basis for general stress response in Bacillus subtilis"
Coffee Break
11:00 ~ 11:20 Karin Metselaar (Wageningen Univ.)
"Mechanisms of non-linear inactivation"
11:20 ~ 11:40 Yu Zhao (Wageningen Univ.)
"Lifecycle of thermophilc biofilm formers"
11:40 ~ 12:00 Yasuyuki Matoba (Hiroshima Univ., RIKEN)
"Structural studies on the bleomycin resistance determinants"
Group photo & Lunch
13:30 ~ 13:50 Yasuhito Shomura (Univ. of Hyogo, RIKEN)
"X-ray structure analysis of the hydrogenase: a study toward the application of the enzyme to the fuel cell and photosynthetic H2-production"
13:50 ~ 14:10 Alicja Warda (Wageningen Univ.)
"Spore sublethal damage repair mechanisms"
14:10 ~ 14:30 Akeo Shinkai (RIKEN)
"Whole cell project of Thermus thermophilus HB8: toward functional identification of functionally unknown proteins"
14:30 ~ Closing remarks: Seiki Kuramitsu (Osaka Univ., RIKEN)